Learn more about the playwright’s process and the unique challenges of writing for Expand Upon from a panel of previous Expand Upon playwrights, including Holly Arsenault (Untitled play About Homelessness: A Play in Nine Parts for Expand Upon: HOMELESSNESS), Amontaine Aurore (Memory Bus for Expand Upon: GUN CONTROL), Tré Calhoun (Hand for Expand Upon: HOMELESSNESS), Stacy D. Flood (The Swimming Pool for Expand Upon: INCARCERATION), Sien Méndez (In My Good Christian Neighborhood for Expand Upon: GUN CONTROL), and Celeste Mari Williams (BeaverTown for Expand Upon: IMMIGRATION). This event will also be live-streamed on YouTube.
Panelists include: (Subject to change)
Holly Arsenault was born in Montréal, Quebec and has lived in Seattle for more than 20 years. Her play Undo received a Theatre Puget Sound Gregory Award for Outstanding New Play and a Seattle Theater Writers Gypsy Rose Lee Award for Excellence in Local Playwriting. Undo was nominated for the American Theatre Critics Association New Play Award, and was a semi-finalist for the Princess Grace Award. Holly’s plays, which include Undo, 24 Pictures of a Pilot (Heideman Award finalist), The Cut, The Manor, Marvelous, and The Great Inconvenience, have been developed at Seattle Repertory Theatre and the National Winter Playwriting Retreat, and produced in Seattle, Boca Raton, Detroit, and Chicago. Holly holds a BA from the University of Washington School of Drama. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America and an alumna of the Seattle Rep Writers Group. Holly wrote Untitled Play About Homelessness: A Play in Nine Parts for Expand Upon: HOMELESSNESS in 2019.
Amontaine Aurore is a writer, actor, director, and author of numerous plays which have been presented on stages in Seattle, New York, and abroad. Her solo play, Free Desiree was named by Indie Theater Now as one of the Best New Plays of the 2013 New York Fringe Festival. In 2017 her play, Don’t Call it a Riot! was a finalist in the Bay Area Playwrights’ Festival, and had its world premiere in 2018. Amontaine is the recipient of artist grants from Artist Trust, Seattle Office of Arts and Culture, 4Culture, and the Puffin Foundation. She has been a writer-in-residence at the Hedgebrook Writers’ Retreat, and was named a finalist for the 2019 Emerald Prize in playwriting. Amontaine wrote Memory Bus for Expand Upon: GUN CONTROL in 2020.
Tré Calhoun is a theatre artist who made art in Seattle for roughly three years, and is now an MFA Playwriting student at Columbia University. He appeared in Taproot Theatre’s A Civil War Christmas, Washington Ensemble Theater’s Every Five Minutes, Forward Flux’s The Wedding Gift, and Book-It’s The Brothers K: Parts I & II. He produced The Black Eye Society: A Cycle (music, book, and lyrics) and Dirt + Dew (playwright, director) in the Seattle Fringe Festival. He co-wrote Pony World Theatre’s world-premiere production of American Archipelago, and Parley Productions workshopped his plays Superpowers and The Other Town. He earned his BA at Cornell University. Tré wrote Hand for Expand Upon: HOMELESSNESS in 2019.
Stacy D. Flood has been a finalist in the Ashland New Play Festival, and an artist-in-residence at the Haut de Fee Centre in France, La Serrania in Mallorca, DISQUIET in Lisbon, and The Millay Colony of the Arts in New York. Locally, his work has appeared at ACT, Ghost Light Theatricals, Theatre Battery, Theater Schmeater, the Akropolis Performance Lab’s New Year/New Play salon, Playlist Seattle, the Adaptive Arts Theatre Company’s Night of New Works, Macha Monkey’s Distillery series, FUSION Theatre Company’s ‘The Seven’ Short Works Festival, as well as in SOMA Magazine, Seattle Weekly and Starbucks’ “The Way I See It” campaign. Stacy holds an MA in English, an MFA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University, where he has served as a lecturer, and was awarded a Clark/Gross Novel Writing Award. He has also been awarded a Getty Fellowship to the Squaw Valley Community of Writers and a Gregory Capasso Award in Fiction from the University at Buffalo. Stacy wrote The Swimming Pool for Expand Upon: INCARCERATION in 2018.
Sien Méndez is a Seattle-based multi-disciplinary theatre artist who hails from Houston, Texas and San Juan, Puerto Rico. Their plays, which include [A willow and no window,], Boson (finalist: The Scratch), Joke Scarcity, and Ozark National Forest have been seen at Cornish College of the Arts and Seattle’s Mirabella as well as recognized on New Play Exchange. Their short play, somos un bosquejo was published through Cornish’s In Other Words in 2018. As an actor, Sien has been seen at Seattle Children’s Theatre, Seattle Public Theatre, Book-It Repertory Theatre, Seattle Shakespeare Company, and The Scratch, and was recently the dramaturg and assistant director of Washington Ensemble Theatre’s Dance Nation. Sien is a teacher of playwriting and new play development at various elementary schools in the North Seattle area, and a board member of Seattle’s newest theatre group The Collective We. They hold a BFA in Original Works from Cornish College of the Arts. Sien wrote In My Good Christian Neighborhood for Expand Upon: GUN CONTROL in 2020.
Celeste Mari Williams is a local playwright who has worked with SIS Productions as part of Revealed, Insatiable, LAAFF, and Represent; Pork Filled Productions as part of UNLEASHED with a staged reading of My Samurai. Celeste is also an associate playwright with Parley with produced workshops of Amelia’s Wall, A Fine Line, and Best Friend. ReAct presented her play GILLS! GILLS! GILLS!, a suite of short plays about sea creatures and mating in 2019. Celeste is a current graduate student of the Masters in Biology (Advanced Inquiry Program) at Miami University. She wrote BeaverTown for Expand Upon: IMMIGRATION in 2019.